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Rachel's Holiday 21 slapping her. She didn't understand. She was from a generation that went into spasms of horror at the mere mention of the word “drugs . Rachel's Holiday. Home · Rachel's Holiday Rachels Mislukte Masterplan. Read more Snowbound Holiday · Read more. Sunday, February 14, RACHEL'S HOLIDAY FREE DOWNLOAD. Posted by Kalps at PM. Labels: Marian Keyes.
Then I… 66 I woke up in the hospital. I found that hard to come to terms with—I was a middle-class, convent-educated girl whose drug use was strictly recreational. And surely drug addicts were thinner? They might have a few vodkas and tonic and let off a bit of steam. I had a couple of lines of cocaine and did likewise. Well, would you? I spent plenty of time on the Stairmaster at the gym.
I knew I had to get up for work the following morning, so I took a couple of sleeping tablets. And still my head was buzzing, so in desperation, thinking of how badly I needed my sleep, thinking of how alert I had to be at work, I took a few more.
I eventually got to sleep. A lovely deep sleep. So lovely and deep that when the morning came, and my alarm clock went off, I neglected to wake up. It was just the usual maudlin, mawkish, self-indulgent poetry-type rubbish I often wrote when I was under the influence.
Instead, when she saw the empty jar of sleeping tablets rolling around on my pillow, she decided it was a suicide note. That was unpleasant enough, but there was worse to come. And before I could intervene and explain that it had all been an embarrassing misunderstanding, my parents had rung my painfully well-behaved older sister, Margaret.
Who arrived on the first available flight from Chicago with her equally painful husband, Paul. Margaret was only a year older than me but it felt more like forty.
She was intent on ferrying me to Ireland to the bosom of my family. Of course I had no intention of going anywhere but by then I was really frightened. That had never happened in the whole of my twenty-seven years. It was hard enough to get him to say hello whenever I rang home and it was one of the rare occasions when he answered the phone. Oh Rachel? Hold on till I get your mother.
He was a lovely man. That I could grudgingly admit by the time I was twenty- seven and had lived away from home for eight years. Not unless I wanted to talk about golf.
Fearfully, I tried to set things right. I was having none of it either. Suddenly, I found myself staring into the abyss. What had they told Dad about me?
I felt the way I had twenty years earlier when he and Mum were called up to the school to account for my on-going dearth of completed homework. Oh no, the game was up.
Dad knew! Eric must have really gone to town on my shortcomings. Was God Beadle rerunning old tapes up there? They were acting as if something really was wrong with me. He was right. I was furious with her and for some reason she seemed to be furious with me too.
It was out of the question for someone else to move in with her. He said nothing. But, to tell the truth, my trip to the hospital had taken more out of me than just the contents of my stomach.
Disagreeing with my father was something I did as instinctively as refusing to sleep with moustachioed men. Easy for him to say. And that seemed to be that.
Luckily I had taken a couple of Valium. Margaret was sitting beside me. In fact, she seemed to be constantly by my side, once I thought about it. I was having none of it either. Suddenly, I found myself staring into the abyss. What had they told Dad about me? I swallowed.
But it did matter. I felt the way I had twenty years earlier when he and Mum were called up to the school to account for my ongoing dearth of completed homework. Oh no, the game was up. Dad knew! Eric must have really gone to town on my shortcomings.
I could hardly bear to think about what Eric said, never mind hear it. They were acting as if something really was wrong with me. He was right. I was furious with her and for some reason she seemed to be furious with me too.
It was out of the question for someone else to move in with her. He said nothing. But, to tell the truth, my trip to the hospital had taken more out of me than just the contents of my stomach. Disagreeing with my father was something I did as instinctively as refusing to sleep with men with mustaches. Easy for him to say. And that seemed to be that. Luckily I had taken a couple of Valium. Otherwise I might have been very upset indeed. In fact, she seemed to be constantly by my side, once I thought about it.
It was time for me to grab back control of the reins of my life. It was unpleasant, and above all it was unnecessary. This is all a big, huge, terrible mistake. She used to be fun once. I had four sisters, two older and two younger, and Margaret was the only well-behaved one. I hated him. And he hated me. He hated my entire family. And well he might, there was stiff competition among us for the position of black sheep.
There was Claire, thirty-one, the deserted wife. Me, twenty-seven, allegedly a junkie. We all hated Paul as much as he hated us. She liked to pretend that she liked everyone, in the hope that it might help her jump the line into Heaven.
Paul was such a pompous know-it-all.
Margaret, good girl that she was, had already taken her allocated seat by the window. That was the problem. A man in the seat in front of the three of us twisted his neck for a good look. Even though I had had absolutely no intention of doing so, a couple of things changed my mind. First, tall, dark and sexy Luke arrived at the apartment. I was delighted to see him. Luke shook hands politely, but his expression was tight and tense. To put the smile back on his face, I launched into the story of my escapade in Mount Sinai.
In fact, he sounded disgusted. Then, to my utter horror, he proceeded to tell me our relationship was over. I went cold with shock. Well, that told me precisely nothing. He went on to viciously insult me, trying to make out it was my fault. That he had no choice but to end it with me. Pausing only to throw a few more nasty comments my way, he slammed out of the apartment. I was devastated. I had even begun to think it was a good one.
The Cloisters! The Cloisters was famous. Hundreds of rock stars had been admitted to the converted monastery in Wicklow no doubt tying in some handy tax deduction while they were at it and stayed the requisite couple of months. There was no shame attached to that. On the contrary. And you never knew who you might meet. Being ditched by Luke caused me to rethink my entire life. Especially as there seemed to be a move toward a ban on enjoying yourself there. What harm could it do now that I had no job and no boyfriend to hold me?
But to lose a boyfriend. I made a show of resisting, but it was mere bravado, empty posturing. How can you sleep at night?
Once I thought about it, a rehabilitation place seemed like a good idea. A great idea. I could do with a rest, some peace and serenity. Somewhere to hide and lick my Luke-shaped wounds. I had visions of spending a lot of time sitting round wrapped in a big towel. Of steam rooms, saunas, massage, seaweed treatment, algae, that kind of thing. It would be good to go for a month or so without a drink and without doing drugs. A whole month, I thought, clenched by sudden fear.
Then the calming effect of the Valium soothed me. Anyway, they probably had wine with the meals in the evenings. Everyone knows that exercise is the best cure for alcoholics. Two hundred sit-ups a day. It would be great to have time to spend on myself. There was bound to be some kind of therapy, as well. Therapy therapy, I mean, not just cellulite therapy. The liedown-on-the-couch-and-tell-me-about-your-father kind.
Not to actually do, of course. I would emerge cleansed, whole, renewed, reborn. The old me would have gone, the new me ready to start all over again. Cold turkey, my foot. You only get that with heroin. I rolled my eyes at her in exasperation. I reached it just before she did and slammed the door in her face.
I had the strange feeling that I was being airlifted to safety. I was suddenly very glad to be leaving New York. So little room to maneuver.
I was low on cash, I owed money to nearly everyone. I laughed to myself because for a minute there I really did sound like a drug addict. Work in the hotel where I was an assistant manager had become harder and harder to do. There were times when I walked through the revolving doors to start my shift and found myself wanting to scream. I had been sick a lot and late a lot. Which made Eric more unpleasant.
Which, naturally, made me take more time off sick. Until my life had shriveled down to two emotions. The initial pain of rejection had shifted slightly to make room for the pain of missing him. He and I had practically been living together and I felt his absence like an ache. So I fought back the urge to pick up the telephone receiver built into the back of the seat.
Luckily 16 Marian Keyes the air hostess was on her way around with the drinks and I accepted a vodka and orange with the same gratitude that a drowning girl might accept a rope. My youngest sister, Helen, had been watching daytime television with her when Dad broke the news. Then, with Dad and Helen watching her—Dad nervously, Helen gleefully—she felt her way blindly into the kitchen and put her head on the kitchen table and started to cry.
But not Rachel. Then his head snapped back to Helen. Meanwhile, Mum was furious. If she left the cardboard roll out I might remember to get more the next time I went to store. Drink, drugs, gambling, food. You can get addicted to nearly anything these days. Ostensibly for Helen and Anna, but really for himself. So Mum got on the phone and made discreet enquiries. Have I? Then Paul pushed into the hall, loaded down with bags. How long are you staying for? Instead she spent the time hanging around the house, annoying Mum, badgering her to play cards.
And then she appeared at the top of the stairs beside Helen. I had the sensation that there was an elevator in my chest that had plummeted out of control to the pit of my stomach. She gave me a sad, little, martyrish smile and I felt a vio- 20 Marian Keyes lent pang of guilt that nearly sent me groping for my Valium bottle there and then.
The elevator inside me was going haywire by then. I was getting the plummeting sensation so often that I felt sick. Guilt and shame mingled with anger and resentment. Was that true? Before I could ask she was off again.
Except maybe to make me laugh. I wished she would go away. You made me the way I am. But mercifully—my celestial comic must have been having a rest—I somehow managed not to say it. I stayed at home for two days before I went to the Cloisters. It was not pleasant. I was not popular. My brush with death ensured that I had toppled Claire from her position and I now wore the crown.
Well, no illegal ones anyway. Which was very adult and sensible of me. Now, there was a boy who knew how to enjoy himself! To bursting point. It was Valium. I would have appreciated something to take the edge off it all. But I managed not to take any of my little magic white pills because I was really looking forward to going to the Cloisters.
And they were calling me a drug addict? I slept an awful lot in the two days. It was the best thing to do because I was jetlagged and disoriented and everyone hated me. As it happened, I just got his answering machine and I had enough of a grip on myself not to leave a message. I would have tried ringing him a lot more.
I had compulsions to do so for most of my waking hours. But Dad had recently gotten a very large phone bill something to do with Helen and had mounted a twenty-four-hour guard around the phone.
So any time I dialed a number, Dad tensed no matter where he was, even if he was four miles away playing golf, and cocked his ear intently. My teenage years came rushing back to me. Now, I mean it this time. Although why would I want to be that? Relations were even more strained with my mother. My stomach and arms and ribs were a mess of dark purple blotches.
I just thought they. When I got dressed or undressed after that, I avoided looking in the mirror. Luckily it was February and it was freezing, so, even in bed, I could wear long-sleeved, highnecked things. During those two days, I had one horrible dream after another.
Where I dreamt— surprise, surprise—that there was someone in my room, someone menacing, who meant to harm me. I was paralyzed. I tried and tried to break through to the surface, but I suffocated under the blanket of sleep. I dreamt that I fell off cliffs, that I was in a car crash, that a tree fell on top of me.
I felt the impact every single time and jerked awake sweating and shaking, never knowing where I was or whether it was day or night. Helen left me alone until the second night I was back. I was in bed, afraid to get up, and she arrived into the room, eating an ice-cream cone. She had an air of restlessness about her that spelled trouble. What do you expect me to do? Anyway, I agreed with her. Paul was cheap. Even Mum once said that Paul would eat his dinner in a drawer and peel an orange in his pocket.
That stopped her in her tracks. I named a couple of names and she was visibly impressed. I was rewarded with a sour look from Helen. The thought of food made me feel sick.
I tore my thoughts back to happier things. They have to protect their privacy. Sex in my cocaine hell and all that. I was disappointed, but not too disappointed. Maybe they had dances.
How dare he not pay the extra for me to be in with the celebrities! I lay in silence. So, highly unusually, did Helen. You know, in the corridors and on the grounds and such places. You might even get to be friends with some of them.
If Helen was convinced, then it had to be true. I used to see him around because we went to the same bars. Irish bars, but not the type of Irish dive frequented only by old men. These bars were different. Or which pop star, either, for that matter. Being Irish in New York has a perennial cachet, but while I lived there it was actually groovy. And whenever we saw Luke and his friends there too, we always laughed at them.
None of them would have looked out of place in any of the rock bands that were fashionable in the early seventies. The type that played huge stadiums and drove Ferraris into swimming pools and were photographed with a string of interchangeable skinny blond girls.
Luke and the boys were all about the same height, around six foot, and had regulation-issue longish, curlyish hair. At the time, long hair on a man was OK only if it was all the same length, middle-parted and lank. Whether it was short, brushed forward and bleached white.
Or the crewcut to end all crewcuts. Or a shaved head with sideburns almost joined under the chin. Or whatever. And their clothes were as old-fashioned as their hair. Denim, denim and more denim, and an occasional splash of leather. With the emphasis on tight, if you follow me. On a good day, you could tell which of them had been circumcised. They were completely immune to the fashion of the outside world.
Anyone worth their sartorial salt would. The only thing I can say in their defense is that none of them had a suede fringey jacket. At least I never saw any of them wearing one. Luke and his pals were too anachronistic-looking for our taste. And as for the aforementioned occasional splash of leather, well. What happened was that after we had observed and laughed at the boys for many months, Brigit and I slowly became aware of something strange.
Whenever they were out en masse only one of them was wearing his leather pants. How do they organize that? Do you think they called each other up before they go out? Over the months we tried to see if there was a pattern to it. Did they have a rotating system going? With Joey being allowed to wear his pair every Wednesday, Gaz every Thursday, something like that?
And what would happen if two of them turned up both wearing theirs? But one night we noticed something even stranger than their foolproof system. Nothing remarkable there. Except that when we had seen Shake the previous weekend, his pair had had a rip in 30 Marian Keyes exactly the same place.
Interesting, we mused, very interesting. Open-mouthed from the wonder of it all, we resolved to withhold judgment until it had happened to a fourth one.
Oh ye, of little faith. And sure enough, not long after that we saw Johnno in the Cute Hoor. Except he was sitting down for hours and we thought he would never stand up and show us his butt. How we eked out that one beer between the two of us! As Brigit and I clutched each other and held our breath, he slowly turned around and there it was! The rip! The identical rip on the identical pocket!
We both let out a shriek of laughter and triumph. So it was true! Is there a banshee on the premises? There were thousands of Irishmen in the bar who were over from Mayo for a conference on beef. We managed to calm down slightly. While the circle of Mayo men watched us in bemusement. Actually, it was a great night. All the trendy usuals left the bar as a protest against the hick Mayo men.
So Brigit and I were able to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves without the fear of being thought uncool.